May 13, 2022
Saint Paul and Minneapolis Launch Historic Electric Vehicle Carshare Fleet and Charging Station Network
The carshare network is the first 100% renewably-powered municipally-owned carshare in the country, providing residents with cleaner and more affordable transportation options
SAINT PAUL, MN – Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, alongside Senator Tina Smith, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and partners announced the launch of Evie Carshare, a renewably-powered fleet of shared electric vehicles (EVs) and the EV Spot Network of charging stations across Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
“This exciting project is about creating opportunities for residents today while building the green infrastructure we’ll need for a competitive and sustainable future,” said Mayor Carter.
“This is an incredible opportunity to move Minneapolis and St. Paul forward to meet our clean energy goals,” said Mayor Frey. “Not only will the Evie Carshare vehicles and EV Spot Network support our community members and families who need access to additional transportation options, but will provide that transportation as 100 percent renewable, electric-powered vehicles. As we continue to battle the climate crisis at hand, intentional and innovative programs like this are great solutions for our community. I’m proud to be in this forward-thinking and collaborative partnership with Mayor Carter, the City of Saint Paul, Xcel Energy, and HOURCAR.”
“Carshares continue to be an important way for people to have affordable access to transportation. Installing 70 new renewably-powered electric vehicle charging stations across the Twin Cities is an important investment in clean energy and an exciting way to expand sustainable transportation options,” said Senator Smith. “Minnesota is leading in the transition to clean energy and this project shows a clean energy future is on the horizon.”
This innovative model for expanding access to clean transportation was made possible by cutting edge investments from the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Energy and the collaborative efforts between the City of Saint Paul, City of Minneapolis, HOURCAR, Xcel Energy, American Lung Association, and other local and national partners.
“Operating Evie Carshare is a dream come true,” said HOURCAR President and CEO Paul Schroeder. “HOURCAR’s mission is to connect people to their communities while reducing congestion and harmful emissions. This project is a perfect fit for us.”
“We are committed to making electric transportation accessible to everyone while powering electric vehicles with our clean, carbon-free energy that reduces carbon emissions and brings cleaner air to our communities. The EV Spot Network is one way we are making good on this commitment,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy – Minnesota. “We’re excited to support infrastructure for more than 70 Twin Cities EV Spot Charging locations. Our partnerships with HOURCAR, the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and other key groups on this transformative project, will make it easier for people to drive electric and help ensure that an electric vehicle future benefits customers, the environment, and the electric grid we rely upon.”
“Electric vehicles are critical for reducing air pollution and we need to ensure they are available to the people most impacted by tailpipe emissions,” said Deborah Brown, Chief Mission Officer of the American Lung Association. “EV Spot Charging and Evie Carshare provide clean transportation options, especially for those who cannot afford to buy a new electric vehicle, may not have a place to plug in at home, or choose not to own a car. The program will serve as an important model nationally.”
ABOUT EV SPOT NETWORK
This first-of-its-kind renewably powered, municipally-owned transportation network will help people get where they need to go, while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Evie Carshare is comprised of a City of Saint Paul-leased fleet operated under contract with HOURCAR.
In October 2018 Saint Paul and Minneapolis were among 25 cities selected to participate in the Climate Challenge, an effort to resource cities to take strong action to reduce pollution that contributes to climate change and impact public health. The EV Spot Network initiative is part of a broader push by the Twin Cities to lead on climate action and was supported in part by the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge.
Since April 2018 Saint Paul and its partners have assembled $12.75 million in funding to serve a 35 square-mile service area with a pending fleet of 171 Evie Carshare vehicles and the EV Spot Network comprised of 70 EV Spot charging locations. The 70 EV Spots will include 280 level two ports, with charging spaces split between Evie and personal vehicles, as well as fast charging at twelve locations. Notably, the EV Spot Network will provide a new clean mobility option for residents and visitors in ten neighborhoods not previously served by carshare.
“The region identified a lack of one-way carshare as leading people to buy more cars than they have to. That’s bad for family budgets,” said Will Schroeer, Executive Director of the public-private partnership East Metro Strong. “We are proud to be part of a solution that connects people, saves them money, and reduces pollution.”
“Through the support of the American Cities Climate Challenge, we have been proud to help the EV Spot Network and Evie Carshare develop a scalable, equity-centered program,” Electrification Coalition Executive Director Ben Prochazka said. “This program provides a win-win for Twin City residents, increasing access to charging for EV owners while bringing the benefits of electric transportation to more communities. St. Paul is demonstrating innovative leadership that will help accelerate transportation electrification across the country, ensuring a more secure and healthy future for all.”
“EV carsharing is the next generation for urban mobility,” added Amanda Eaken, Co-Director of the American Cities Climate Challenge. “The Saint Paul team is leading the way – showing us all how to bring the cleanest vehicle technology to those who need mobility solutions at an affordable price point. Thrilling to see this kind of innovation from one of our Climate Challenge cities.”
“There’s a real demand for infrastructure projects centered on climate resiliency and equity, and I’m thrilled that our members have been able to partner with Saint Paul in carrying out that work,” said IBEW 110 Business Manager Jamie McNamara. “Leveraging federal dollars to invigorate local job opportunities is exactly how we build pathways to the middle class.”
Equitable access to clean transportation is a core goal of this program. 90% of the 70 EV Spot Charging Stations are in “areas of concern for environmental justice” and the Evie Carshare program has been designed from the ground up with access for predominantly BIPOC and low-income neighborhoods at its center. This network will provide people the ability to use an electric vehicle without owning one via Evie Carshare or charge a personal vehicle. EV Spots also connect to more than 90% of the region’s transit routes, including all the commuter express routes, so residents and visitors can also use the EV Spot Network to connect to and from transit.